As part of the support for developing students' associations, there are a number of resources that tie into the themes of the Framework to aid students' associations and colleges working in partnership to further improve. Resources will be added to this page as they are developed. Take a look at what we have achieved so far: Our Progress so far on College Student Associations.



SRUC SA Framework Strategic Planning Activity

SRUC SA have kindly provided facilitator notes as well as specific examples for their strategic planning activity to embed success characteristics from the Framework into their strategic plans for the forthcoming year:


SRUC SA Framework Strategic Planning Activity - Facilitator's notes

Example Evaluation Form: Sustainable Resources

Example Evaluation Form: Aware and Active Students

City of Glasgow College SA's Operational Plan  




The Four Hats of a Student Board Member: Article

Article by Simon Varwell of sparqs on the unique position of student board members, and the differing roles or 'hats' that student board members must take on in their position. 


NUS Scotland Briefing on Student Board Membership

Informative breifing that covers the legal context, how to nominate board members and their role on the board. 


sparqs Resource Library

sparqs have an extensive resource library with a large amount of case studies, toolkits, articles and guides based on a variety of topics about involving students in the quality and governance of the learning experience.



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NUS Scotland Report: Doing Democracy 

This report is a follow up of NUS UK reports Democracy is Dead, Long Live Democracy and This is What Democracy Looks Like. It highlighting best practice in the sector through case studies from college Students’ Associations.

Elections resources: 


NUS Scotland Model Ballot Paper

Model ballot paper for students' association elections. 


NUS Scotland Model Candidate Briefing Presentation

Model powerpoint presentation to breif new candidates on the important information about their forthcoming election.


NUS Scotland Model Election Complaint Form 

Model complaints form for students or candidates to complain in writing.


NUS Scotland Model Election Regulations Schedule

Model election rules and regulations for students' association elections 


NUS Scotland Preparing for Elections: A Checklist 

Handy checklist and some top tips for staff members preparing for elections


NUS UK Report: Democracy is Dead! Long Live Democracies

This report explores the findings of an exciting one-year pilot project which aimed to help students’ unions design innovative, democratic decision-making processes based on the preferences and values of their members. The report explores trends and findings in the responses of 2,839 students to an online quantitative questionnaire and offers in-depth analysis of the NUS Democracy Commission’s findings.


NUS UK Report: This is What Democracies Look Like

As a follow-up report from Democracy is Dead! Long Live Democracies, this report explores how two students' unions (Leeds Trinity and Liverpool Guild) implemented innovative democratic procedures to engage more of their membership in decision making. 


Case Study: Democratic Innovation at Leeds University Union

Specific Case Study on the democratic approaches taken on by Leeds University Union. 



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NUS Scotland Report: Involving Members, Developing Leaders


NUS UK Student Opportunities Resource Hub


The hub contains over 30 inspiration sheets and 18 specific training guides on a whole host of topics related to developing opportunities for your students, such as volunteering roles, societies or sport clubs. The Student Opportunities Hub also includes several specfic guides on facilitating skills training, such as time management, negotiating, meeting skills and assertiveness and leadership skills. 


NUS Scotland Communications Planning Guide

When planning an event, campaign or activity, use this guide to making sure you have planned how to communicate your messages efficiently and effectively. Includes template activity schedule for communications.


NUS Scotland Media & PR Toolkit

Use this handy toolkit to engage the local media in your campaigns and events, including how to write a press release. 


Starting New Clubs and Societies

An information guide with case studies from the NUS Student OpportunitiesHub that discusses some key issues for associations to think about when setting up clubs and societies. 


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Finance Toolkit


Strategic Planning

A full day's training on how to define and describe strategic planning, its uses and the relevant processes for designing, implementing and monitoring a strategy in your Students’ Association


Negotiating Training

A short (2hr 30), deliverable training course on the key skill of negotiating from the NUS Student Opportunities Hub 


Managing Student Volunteers

A two page guide from the NUS Student Opportunities Hub that runs through the basics of managing student volunteers


Developing Volunteering

Already have volunteers but looking to develop and improve? This guide from the NUS Student Opportunities Hub contains lots of information on maintaining interest and sustaining activity. Includes case studies. 


Guidance on the Employment of Officers and Staff 

Legal guidance on the employment practices of elected officers and staff or workers employed to support students' associations



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Planning tools


Problem and Solution Trees

Use problem and solution trees to break down the problem your campaign/project seeks to address and create solutions to work towards.


Campaign Team Matrix

A matrix to help you identify and build a campaign team


Impact Chain Handout

This simple campaigns planning model can be used for initial thoughts to develop your strategy


Example Operational Plan

A tool to set out your strategic objectives to support your planning processes 


Case Study: New College Lanarkshire's draft Operational Plan 

An example of a (draft) completed operational plan being used as a live document for planning and monitoring. 


SWOT Analysis

Identifying internal strengths and weaknesses in addition to external opportunities and threats using this tool is a great way to work out the current situation in your SA and if there may be particular priorities throughout the year not already identified through planning. 


Campaigning Toolkits


NUS Campaigns Effectiveness Toolkit: Section A - Getting Started

This campaign guide is in 4 sections and takes you through the campaigns cycle step by step. The section 'Getting started' focuses on analysing the issue and creating a strategy.


NUS Campaigns Effectiveness Toolkit: Section B - Planning

This campaign guide is in 4 sections and takes you through the campaigns cycle step by step. The section 'Planning an Effective Campaign' focuses on power, identifying targets, influencing and choosing tactics. 


NUS Campaigns Effectiveness Toolkit: Section C - Delivery

This campaign guide is in 4 sections and takes you through the campaigns cycle step by step. The section 'Delivering your Campaign' focuses on building partnerships, organising and mobilising supporters. 


NUS Campaigns Effectiveness Toolkit: Section D - Monitoring and Evaluation

This campaign guide is in 4 sections and takes you through the campaigns cycle step by step. The section 'Monitoring and Evalutating your Campaign' focuses on analysing the success and impact of your campaign.


Training Resources 


NUS Skills for Change Training Resources

Training tutor notes, resources and presentations covering the following topics:

1.Campaigns: Where to Start?

2. Planning: Effective Campaign Aims

3. Mobilising Support

4. Using Digital Media

5. Power Mapping

6. Lobbying

7. How to Write a Press Release 

8. Evaluation 


FE SABB Toolkit






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